One of the best ways to increase your property’s resale value is by making your home more energy efficient. If you want to sell your house soon, you can make several home upgrades that decrease energy expenditure and appeal to potential homebuyers. Eco-conscious property seekers typically desire to lower their utility bills and reduce their impact on the planet.
Upgrading your home’s insulation or HVAC system are some energy-efficient home improvement projects that add value. Use this guide to discover how to increase the value of your home with other projects that can improve energy efficiency.
How Much Energy Does Your Home Typically Use?
Homes in the United States collectively use approximately 1,437 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) each year. Your property’s energy expenditure depends on several factors, including its size and insulation. Professionals use kWh to measure electrical energy usage, which you can find by multiplying the hours you spend using an appliance per day by its wattage. To determine the number of watts your device uses per hour, you can check its yellow Energy Guide label.
Here are the top five sources of energy expenditure in your living space:
- Heating and air conditioning: Your HVAC system makes up approximately 33% of your annual energy usage, depending on the outside weather. This unit is responsible for providing a comfortable temperature all year long, and it covers much more square footage than other items in your home that use energy. To lower your energy costs, invest in an energy-efficient HVAC system and regularly maintain it to keep the ductwork and unit in good condition.
- Water heater: Heating your home’s water comprises about 12% of the total energy expenditure, a little less than half of your HVAC system’s usage. Think of how often you and your family take hot showers, run the dishwasher, wash your hands or do the laundry to determine how much hot water you use. You can adjust your water heater settings to make sure you don’t use more energy than you need.
- Appliances: The electrical appliances in your home use about 14% of your home’s total energy, about the same as the water heater that powers your whole house. These appliances include the dishwasher, electric oven and stove, refrigerator and washer and dryer. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use eco-friendly settings on your machines wisely to make sure you’re using the right amount of energy.
- Lighting: Lighting accounts for about 5% of the total energy you use in your property. To conserve the amount of energy you spend on lighting, turn off lights after you leave the room, or set them on a timer. You can also invest in energy-efficient lighting equipment and lightbulbs to quickly and affordably save money on your monthly utility bills.
- TV and media equipment: Televisions, computers, video game consoles and home theater systems only account for about 6% of your property’s total energy expenditure. Make sure you invest in energy-efficient media equipment and turn down the brightness on your screens to conserve power.
Home Upgrades to Improve Energy Efficiency
If you’re wondering how to make your home more energy efficient, you can reduce your resources without spending too much money. Invest in these home upgrades to make it eco-friendly:
- Replace your bulbs: Compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) or light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are more energy efficient than traditional incandescent lighting. Even though they’re more expensive up front, they’ll save you money on energy bills. They also last longer, so you won’t have to replace them as often. Start small and replace the bulbs you use most often to decrease your energy expenditure.
- Adjust the water heater: Most manufacturers set the water heater to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, which is much too high because it wastes energy and is unsafe to the touch. Reduce the water heater temperature to 120 degrees to save hundreds of dollars per year. You can also turn the water heater down or off if you plan to go on vacation for a few days. By making these small changes, you’ll lower the energy loss of radiant heat that releases from the appliance.
- Seal air leaks: Any unwanted gaps or cracks throughout your home allow air to seep inside. As a result, your HVAC system will use more energy to create a comfortable temperature for your living space. If you notice any openings near your doors or windows, take a tube of silicone caulk and apply a thin bead along the edge of the frame. You can also seal air leaks with weatherstripping on your entry and garage doors so that air doesn’t escape through the bottom.
- Insulate your attic door: Since warm air rises, an attic that doesn’t have adequate insulation can let heat escape through the roof. Besides insulating the whole attic, you can apply a layer of insulation to your attic door. It would also be helpful if you installed weatherstripping or a sealing gasket where the hatch rests when it’s closed. If you have pull-down stairs, you can create an insulating attic stairs cover box to make sure your door prevents heat transference.
- Install a programmable thermostat: If you have an older home, you might have an outdated thermostat that you could only adjust to accommodate the weather for the next morning. A programmable thermostat allows you to set temperatures for when you’re out of the house or asleep. To save 10% a year on energy costs, set your thermostat to 78 degrees in the summer and 68 degrees in the winter.
- Upgrade to a smart thermostat: As a step above the programmable thermostat, a smart thermostat can save you even more money by connecting to your phone. With this device, you can control the temperature from anywhere you have a wireless connection. If you’ve left the house but forgot to turn off the HVAC system, adjust the temperature on your phone so it’s not blowing air into an empty room.
- Insulate water pipes: Adding insulation to your hot water pipes can decrease heat loss and raise your water temperature by 2 to 4 degrees Fahrenheit so that you can lower the settings on your water heater. Consult with a contractor about installing insulation, especially if you’re working on a new construction house or remodeling a part of your home that has pipes.
- Put up ceiling fans: Installing new fans throughout the house can circulate the air coming from your HVAC system to save money on energy costs. Make sure your fan is spinning counterclockwise in the summer to push the cold air down to the floor. In the winter, reverse it so the blades pull the cold air toward the ceiling and make the room feel warmer.
Home Improvement Projects That Improve Energy Efficiency
Make a difference in your home’s energy efficiency and attract potential homebuyers. You should invest in these renovations to save even more money and increase the resale value of your property. It would be best to hire a contractor to complete these projects because they’ll make sure they correctly install your insulation and appliances for optimal energy efficiency. Consider which of these upgrades would be best for your living space:
- Clean your attic and crawl space: If you want to increase your house’s resale value and save money on utility bills, clean the dust and debris from your attic or crawl space. Allergens can cause weakened immunity or respiratory problems in your family members. They could also disturb potential homebuyers as they walk through your house and notice a musty smell. Cleaning out your attic or crawl space can take some of the load off your HVAC system and improve your living space’s comfort level.
- Add insulation to your attic: Installing high-quality insulation helps add value to your home because it’s inexpensive but can yield a high return on investment (ROI). If you’ve noticed drafts or moisture damage, you might need to invest in new protection for your attic. Besides removing outdated paneling and installing new material, a professional insulation company also inspects your attic for gaps that could let in outside air or rodents.
- Invest in air sealing services: Air sealing ensures that your attic or crawl space is free of holes that leak air and increase utility bills. Air sealing also makes your home feel more comfortable. Consider investing in this service if you have ice dams in the winter, excess dust or drafty rooms.
- Install a whole house fan: A QuietCool whole house fan to cool and ventilate your entire living space, saving you up to 50 to 90% of your utility costs and improving your home’s air quality. It also gets rid of odors, germs, smoke and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to reduce allergy symptoms and potential illnesses in your family members. Prospective homebuyers will appreciate the renovation you made to provide a healthy environment for them.
- Clean and disinfect the air ducts: Your HVAC system sends air throughout the house through ductwork. If the ducts collect with dirt, dust and germs, they can’t blow as much, and the system has to exert more energy to provide the temperature set on the thermostat. You can improve your health and create a cleaner living space if you invest in air duct cleaning services, where we use a strong vacuum with negative pressure to pull debris from the ductwork.
- Seal or replace the air ducts: The ductwork in your HVAC unit may need repairs instead of a simple cleaning. Contact a professional if you notice your ductwork isn’t blowing out air properly. Our air duct repair and replacement services allow us to inspect your air duct system after a harsh storm or excessive wear and tear.
- Install a radiant barrier: Energy-efficient homes provide a comfortable, healthy environment all year long. A radiant barrier reflects the heat into the atmosphere, allowing you to control the temperature in all weather conditions. It works with your new insulation to keep unwanted hot air out of your attic.
- Have your HVAC installed or replaced: Since your HVAC system encompasses almost half of your utility bills each month, you need to make sure it doesn’t have faulty parts that could make it use more power. If the unit is more than 10 years old or has worn-out components, you can get it replaced by a professional. We replace the entire AC system so it can function without using too much energy.
- Update your roof: Since warm air rises, a damaged roof could leak heat from your furnace in the winter. Replace your whole roof to seal potentially large openings you have on top of the house. You would know you need to replace your old roof if your roof is more than 30 years old. A roof replacement is a complex project, so potential homebuyers will appreciate the time and money you spent on your property.
- Replace your windows: Old, worn-out windows can let in air leaks and reduce your home’s air quality. Replace your windows with energy-efficient glass and tight weatherstripping so the air from your HVAC can stay inside.
- Install solar panels: You can save money by installing solar panels. Solar energy is clean, renewable energy from the sun, so it won’t produce greenhouse gases or pollute the air. You also can qualify for a tax credit if you set up solar panels on your roof.
- Paint your house: Adding a fresh coat of eco-friendly paint increases the value of your home. If you use our Cool Life™ coating system, you can save up to 21% on energy bills. Choose a neutral color that will attract potential homebuyers and enhance your curb appeal to get the most out of your painting project.
Does Energy Efficiency Increase Home Value?
Yes. An energy-efficient home can increase the value of your home and make your property more desirable. Here are some reasons why potential homebuyers seek after properties with energy-efficient home improvements:
- They want a break from the expensive cost of living: Since the price to buy a house has increased over the years, potential homebuyers are also concerned about the money they have to spend after purchasing a home on top of their hefty mortgage payments. An energy-efficient home — including appliances, insulation and energy-efficient windows — can attract more people because they know they’ll save money in their new living space.
- They want to reduce their carbon footprint: Potential homebuyers care about their impact on the planet when they invest in a home. The average American residence uses 10,972 kWh per year, usually using energy that emits greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. If you make renovations to your house to reduce your energy usage, those who want to buy it will notice.
Contact Atticare to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient
Our mission at Atticare is to provide energy-efficient home services to properties in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and New Jersey. To save even more money on your energy-efficient home upgrades, we’ll send you a $200 check if you refer a friend or family member to our services. You can also use our competitor quote comparison tool to make sure you’re getting the best price for your job. Contact us online or call 1-888-743-7243 today to schedule a free inspection.